HARRIMAN, Tenn. — The search went nationwide. The selection stayed at home.
Chris Whaley, who said he "sort of grew up with Roane State," has been recommended to be the next president of the community college by Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan.
"Dr. Whaley's proven dedication to student success, his overwhelming faculty support and his earned respect of the surrounding community make him the right choice to lead Roane State into the next important phase of its future," Morgan said in announcing his recommendation.
The Board of Regents will vote on confirming Whaley on Oct. 1.
Whaley, 43, a Harriman resident who now is the college's vice president of student learning and its chief academic officer, called the endorsement "a bit overwhelming."
He will succeed Gary Goff, who is retiring Oct. 31 after leading the college for seven years.
Whaley's new salary will be $154,410.
Whaley, who called himself a "proud alum" of Roane State, said his father was one of the college's first employees when it opened.
A lawyer, Whaley returned to the college in 1997 as program director of its paralegal studies program and became dean of social science, business and education in 2002. He was named to his current post two years ago.
Saying he supports "the strong community partnerships that Dr. Goff has worked so hard to foster," Whaley said his goals also include initiatives to increase the number of students completing certificates and to continue to work with area businesses and industries to determine what programs best mesh with their needs.
Roane State has nine campuses and 6,500 students.
Contact Bob Fowler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 865-481-3625.